Study Guide

Howards End Chapter 24

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Chapter 24

  • Mr. Wilcox relates the tale of Margaret's odd encounter to Dolly over tea. The old woman is apparently called Miss Avery, and Mr. Wilcox thinks she's just a silly old maid.
  • Dolly asks if Margaret thought Miss Avery was a "spook" (Dolly is not the most spiritually informed of girls) and, though Margaret says that she wasn't frightened, Mr. Wilcox thinks that she was.
  • Mr. Wilcox and Dolly have a dismissive attitude towards Miss Avery, who they class as "uneducated." Mr. Wilcox complains about women like her; he doesn't like her at all, but Margaret thinks she might.
  • Dolly goes off on a tangent about Miss Avery's history with the family. Apparently, the first Mrs. Wilcox's brother, Tom Howard, proposed to her (which would have made her Charles and Evie's aunt), but she said no, and he died soon after.
  • Mr. Wilcox makes their excuses, and says that they've got to leave. Margaret smiles to herself, noting that the Wilcoxes can't possibly coexist near each other – they all have competitive colonial instincts.
  • Crane, the chauffeur, brings the car round, and they return to London.
  • Margaret, home alone at Wickham Place, thinks over the day she had. Mr. Wilcox showed her all around Howards End, telling her about the improvements he'd made on it, and, at the end of the day, they discovered that she was right about the pigs' teeth in the wych elm – Mr. Wilcox is shocked.

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